Sapna’s Sapna

“Good morning beta”, said Maa.

I wanted to wish her back, I really did, but there was a lump in my throat and I wasn’t able to speak, so I just nodded. 

“I have someone I want you to meet”, she continued, trying to make conversation.

I nodded curiously, indicating that I wanted to know who this was. “There is this psychologist named Sapna Malani, she is a really amazing person. She conducts a lot of mentorship programmes. I talked to her about your situation and she would love to help”, explained Maa. 

I didn’t like how she referred to my life as a ‘situation’. 

I didn’t like how she thought I needed help. 

I didn’t like how the world took my dad away from me and expected me to be okay. 

I didn’t like a lot of things, but I just nodded my head. 

My mother assumed I wanted to meet the psychologist, and I let her assume. 

It didn’t really make a difference to anyone if there was one more thing I didn’t like in my ‘situation’. 

“So should I get an appointment for Sunday?” she asked.

“Yes”, I replied. I could finally get myself to speak, and I said something against my will. 

So yeah, I would go and meet this one person who wanted to change my life the following day. 


“Get up beta, the day’s here”, said Maa, being all enthusiastic as usual. A part of me hated this to death, and a part of me was happy that at least my mum didn’t give up on me, because I did for sure. 

I got up and did the usual. 

While getting ready, I saw my football. Right, my mother must’ve taken it out. 

Why was she trying to make my already miserable life more miserable? The thing was, I used to play football a lot, and every time I had a match, my dad was there right by my side. He was the absolute best. After his death, I never thought I could play football again. He was my biggest motivation, without him, it would just be pointless.

My mother was all happy about this meeting, and I was all confused, nervous, sad and mad, at the same time. One thing I was not though was hopeful, because after a point, you just end up giving up on yourself. My mum and I drove to Ms. Sapna’s house. We didn’t say anything to each other, but deep inside I knew we both didn’t know what to expect.

“Hi”, greeted Ms. Sapna on seeing us.

“Hi Sapna didi”, responded my mum.

“Come inside”, she said. 

We entered her beautiful house filled with a million plants. I never thought I could describe something as beautiful after what happened to me. Wow, this was already having a bit of an impact on me. Ms. Sapna took me to her huge library. We sat on the sofa, and she looked at me. 

First of all, I was glad my mother was not there. I knew she loves me, and that too a lot, but when you lose a parent, people sort of stop understanding you. 

“So, how are you?” asked Ms. Sapna.

“I’m fine, thank you Ms. Sapna”, I said. 

“Call me Sapna Maasi, and you don’t look very fine baccha”, she said, so patiently. When no one understands you, it’s surprising when you find someone who might. 

“I don’t know”, I replied, partially because I really didn’t and partially because I couldn’t speak.

We talked, I actually made conversation, or at least I tried to. Wow, I was trying, this person could, maybe, hopefully make a good old difference. After about thirty minutes, my mother walked in. 

Wow, one more thing I didn’t like. 

“You know, one thing, besides counseling you, that’s going to seriously make a big difference to your life, is working on your relationship with your mother”, said Sapna Maasi.

“Yes beta, please cooperate”, urged Maa. 

As if I hadn’t been cooperating enough. 

As if y’all hadn’t just taken my dad away from me. 

“I’ll try my best,” I said. 

We talked about a lot of things. Obviously, I couldn’t be the most expressive in the first session, but I was definitely looking forward to a very interesting journey.

We then start going to Sapna Maasi’s house every day. It was almost amazing how much she understood me so well. She talked to us and most of all taught us a way of life that was so peaceful. She taught us how reacting to something and responding to something were so different, and could make a world of a difference. She made us understand how we could make life better by making little-little changes. 

I kind of gave up on reading after my father had passed away, and Sapna Maasi introduced me to so many different books. 

All through this journey, I was so hurt, that somewhere I became a little less sensible, and that too quite literally. I never once thought what my dad would’ve wanted. 

He for sure wouldn’t have wanted me to give up on football, my relationship with my mother, my friends, reading and countless other things that I used to love. 

So, Sapna Maasi and my mother motivated me, and I kept trying, and suddenly, my life wasn’t a ‘situation’ anymore.

// This fictional story has been penned by 11-year-old Vinisha Nainani from Hyderabad as an ode to a special person in her life //

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